Meriden offers a wide variety of sport opportunities for girls. Inter-school sporting competitions and training sessions are regarded as an important part of a girl’s physical and social development. Meriden fosters the love and enjoyment of an active lifestyle by encouraging students to participate in both competitive and non-competitive sports. A fitness program is also available for girls who would like additional physical activity.
The School has an outstanding record of sporting achievement and students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of sports, with some students participating at state, national and international level. Meriden’s proximity to Homebush Olympic Park makes it an ideal school for girls who compete at an elite level. To cater for the specific needs of elite sports students, Meriden offers a special program in the Senior School, called the Olympus Program.
Meriden’s team of coaches are professionals who have achieved at the top of their chosen sport. Many have competed on the international circuit and some have represented Australia at the Olympic Games. Meriden’s sports coaches are dedicated to teaching and inspiring their students to achieve beyond their expectations to become the best they can be.
Junior School students participate in a comprehensive PDHPE program which encourages them to develop the knowledge, skills, values and attitude needed to live a healthy and fulfilling life. Each class engages in weekly Personal Development and Health sessions that promote all aspects of wellbeing, including social, emotional, spiritual and physical health. Through regular Physical Education lessons, students develop skills in a variety of physical activities and are equipped with knowledge to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
The Cocurricular Sport program promotes fitness and teamwork in a fun environment. All students have the opportunity to participate in several sports during their time in the Junior School and the wide range of sporting activities means that each girl can discover a sport that she enjoys. Those students with a high level of sporting ability are offered a pathway to compete at higher levels through IPSHA (Independent Primary School Heads Association), Combined Independent Schools (CIS), and NSW State representation at School Sport Australia.
Inter-school sport is not compulsory in the Junior School; however, participation is encouraged and there is always strong voluntary participation and enthusiasm from our students. Any girl from Years 3 to 6 can be involved in Saturday sport. Meriden participates in the IPSHA Saturday morning competition, which enables the girls to compete with other girls’ schools at venues in Sydney. In addition to the games held on Saturdays, team members are required to attend one training session per week.
The sports that are played throughout the year include::
- Football (Soccer)
- Running Club
- Touch Football
- Water Polo (Flippa Ball)
A Sports Club is offered to girls in Years 1 and 2 who wish to be involved. It is held on a weekday afternoon and enables the students to experience the sports that are available for them to play when they reach Year 3.
Physio Play, a fundamental movement skills program is open to girls In Kindergarten to Year 2. Physio Play sessions are run on Thursday afternoons throughout the year by specialist sports and paediatric physiotherapists.
Students may also participate in the following extracurricular activities which are operated by external providers:
- Group or private Tennis lessons through Meriden Tennis Academy
- Artistic Gymnastics through the Australian Academy of Gymnastics
- Dance through Elevate Performing Arts
Senior School students have the opportunity to participate and compete in the following sports:
- Cross Country
- Football (Soccer)
- Touch Football
- Water Polo
Students in Years 7 - 9 are required to undertake at least two Saturday Sports per year. In Years 10 - 12, the majority of students choose to participate in one or more sports each year. The high level of participation in sport at Meriden creates an enthusiastic and energetic environment in which good sportsmanship prevails.
Meriden has nurtured some extraordinary talent in tennis, with players competing in national and international tournaments including the Junior Australian Open. One player has competed in four Junior Grand Slams during her time at Meriden. During the past four years, eight Meriden students have competed at the Grand Slam level.
The Meriden tennis team has won the prestigious Tildesley Shield Tennis tournament for a record eleven consecutive years, the Australian National Schools Tennis Challenge seven times since 2010 and has been selected to represent Australia at the biennial World Schools Tennis Challenge on four occasions. After securing the bronze medal in 2013, Meriden was named World Schools Tennis Champion at the 2015 Challenge held in Qatar.
The Meriden Tennis Academy caters for players from first-timers through to Australian ranked players (and every level in between). Under the guidance of Head Coach, Mr Ross Anton, all students are given the opportunity to learn and develop new skills.
Meriden’s Olympus Tennis program is designed for students with Australian Rankings and aims to assist them in combining the demands of school work and training.
Meriden’s Water Polo players achieve outstanding success at both team and individual levels. Over the past decade, the Senior Firsts have been grand finalists in the highly competitive IGSSA Water Polo S01 division on numerous occasions and have been crowned champions four times in recent years.
Many of the players are selected to represent New South Wales and Australia in competitions. Within the past few years, Meriden has generated more than thirty state representatives and twelve Australian representatives.
Meriden’s Water Polo program develops students from Year 5 through to Year 12 across all levels. Students receive high quality professional coaching from experienced coaches who include current and former Australian and international representatives, as well as Olympians.
Meriden’s Athletics program has gone from strength to strength under the guidance of triple-Olympian Ms Nicole Boegman-Stewart. The program aims to promote and encourage the sport of Track and Field within the School. It allows the girls the opportunity to develop their athletic potential in all disciplines with year-round training and competition and access to specialist coaches. In 2016, Meriden improved significantly at the IGSSA Athletics Championships to be awarded the 2016 trophy for the Most Improved School, allowing it to move up a division in 2017. In 2017 Meriden improved a further two places to firmly establish itself in the new division.
Meriden representation at the NSWCIS Athletics level has doubled since 2015. Seven girls were named in the NSWCIS merit team in 2017 with several girls going on to compete at the NSW All Schools Track and Field Championships and Australian All Schools Championships. Meriden also fielded teams in the Athletics NSW Schools Knockout and Schools Relays competitions and came away with a number of team medals from those events.